Android games on TV? Amkette’s EvoFox Game Box trades modernism for simplicity

When you think of gaming consoles, there are two visions that immediately flash in your mind – Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, alongside a wad of cash you’d be spending to buy them.

As a hazy second recollection, you may point out to the Apple TV 4K console (when paired with a controller) that can do gaming surprisingly well.

However, there’s still a significant gap within Android, particularly at the more affordable price points (the Nvidia Shield consoles aren’t here, and even if they were, they’d cost a pretty penny).

That neatly brings us to a fairly rudimentary alternative.

A bit more than a year on from the first edition, the proposition of the latest gen Amkette EvoFox Game Box is one that’s still quite unique.

A potential gaming console, Android as the base and that unlocks Android’s vast game ecosystem.

The price tag of around 9,999 makes this a comparative lighter burden on the wallet. The question is, does the generational upgrade, a year or so later, change things?

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The answer is a yes and no.

It is surprising that the beating heart, hasn’t changed much.

In the sense, the quad core processor, the ARM Mali G31 graphics, 4GB RAM and up to 32GB expandable storage via the microSD route, continues with duties in this console too. But then again, so does the Android 9 customised OS, which another year and a bit later, feels even more dated.

The console itself is a bit more compact (at least that is how it looks), while the wireless controller has a new design, and the keys elicit slightly better tactile response. This is definitely better than before, particularly in terms of accuracy of response.

There’s also the EvoFox Elite Ops wireless gamepad controller that you can add on (that’ll cost around 1,499). By the way, this controller can also be directly connected with Android TV based smart TVs, Windows PCs, and the Sony PlayStation 3 console – that’s a good versatility bit to have. That’s a competent accessory play by Amkette.

It is somewhat perplexing that in all this while, Amkette hasn’t found a way to update the interface that greets you. The block-based layout looks acceptable, but something more fluid (and a few customisation options wouldn’t feel out of place either) with modern design cues, would have offered more visual appeal. Secondly, Android 9 is, whichever way you look at it, quite old. We are not sure how much of a challenge it may be to optimise a newer Android 11 or Android 12 for the game console ecosystem, called Fox OS.

The curations are nicely done though – helpful if you aren’t in the mood to search for new games but have a fair idea of what genre to tackle. There is the Retro Games category too, which should tick off the nostalgia aspect too.

Move beyond this, and the Play Stores do open doors to a fairly wide world of Android games. The fine print here is, don’t expect to play F1 Mobile or F1 2022 on this, for instance.

The compatible games (partly to do with the hardware this runs, and partly the Android version in play) are largely a generation older. Asphalt 8: Airborne, Real Racing, Dead Trigger 2 and Grand Theft Auto are not old, but they aren’t exactly the newest titles either.

Gameplay itself doesn’t indicate any stutters or struggles, which means the hardware is able to cope well enough. That’s good news for longevity, at least to an extent. However, games themselves sometimes exhibit a learning curve with controls – not all games are properly optimised for a controller, and there may be those rough edges you’ll encounter occasionally.

Here and now, it just feels out of place that the wireless controller and the wireless remote (it is called the voice enabled air remote; best placed if you’re using the console for a bit of Netflix or YouTube) still use USB dongles for connectivity. That means both USB ports on the Amkette EvoFox Game Box are taken up. That’s annoying, if you want to plug in a storage drive, for instance, to play back media from it. Unplug the wireless controller, that’s the solution.

To summarise, the Amkette EvoFox Game Box, think of this as a hybrid between a console and a smart media player for your TV. The latter being 4K, though HDR support is iffy. It’ll do a bit of both, fairly well, as long as you aren’t expecting this to be a gaming console that’ll match up to the more serious ones. This is geared more for the casual gaming sessions, and ideal as a first gaming console for the family. Fits in well where you’d not want to spend serious PlayStation-esque money, while also bringing Android vast ecosystem to the forefront.


    vishal mathur

    Vishal Mathur is Technology Editor for Hindustan Times. When not making sense of technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.

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